Seattle Pacific University

From the President

President Dan Martin
Thank you for the love shown to Sarah Wong and her family and friends

As we continue to mourn the loss of freshman Sarah Pantip Wong and feel the impact she had on our campus, I want to thank staff, faculty, and students for their extraordinary support and help with her family and friends during this difficult time.

I want to especially thank Vice President for Student Life Jeff Jordan for his time and care with Sarah’s family, as well as the Student Life and Residence Life staff who worked tirelessly with students and roommates grieving the loss of their friend. The Student Counseling Center provided counselors as soon as we learned the news, and I’m grateful for their care and support for our students.

I also want to thank Dean of Students Chuck Strawn for handling multiple interviews with the media as Jeff worked with the family, and Sarah’s faculty advisor Julie Pusztai, who graciously agreed to speak to reporters before Sarah’s memorial service on May 1. The University Ministries staff worked closely with the family to create a beautiful memorial service honoring Sarah’s life, which was livestreamed and made available to her family and friends around the country. I know there are many other departments and offices that also extended their services and support, and I want you to know I’m grateful for everyone who offered to help the Wong family.

As I reflect on Sarah’s life and her influence among our students after only nine short months on campus, I’m reminded of one of the unique qualities of Seattle Pacific — our emphasis on community. I’m grateful that in times of sorrow we can rely on God’s strength and the bonds of friendship and fellowship so beautifully on display last week in the residence halls, the Pacific Islanders Club of Cultural Arts and the ‘Ohana ‘O Hawai’i student clubs, and in Sarah’s poignant memorial service. I ask you to join me in continuing to pray for Sarah’s family, and her friends both here and at home.

Campus News & Events

Celebration of Service
May 9: Celebration of Service

Please mark your calendar for the 2019 Celebration of Service on Thursday, May 9, to honor Seattle Pacific University faculty and staff members with milestone years (5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, and 45) of dedicated employment. The event will be held in Brougham Pavilion at 11:10 a.m. Come support your colleagues and express your appreciation for their committed service. We will announce Staff Members of the Year, as well as Undergraduate and Graduate Faculty of the Year. There will be a community reception immediately following, and light appetizers will be served. All offices are closed so faculty and staff members can attend.

SPU Choir
May 10: All-Choir Concert

Join the Concert, Chamber, Gospel, and Women's choirs for their final all-choir concert of the year, celebrating unity in diversity by coming together in song. This concert will be held on Friday, May 10, at 7:30 p.m. in First Free Methodist Church and will be livestreamed. This event is free and wheelchair accessible.

Ivy Cutting
Tell us about your outstanding graduates

University Communications needs help identifying outstanding students from this year’s graduating class. This request is for undergraduate and graduate students. These students and their achievements will be pitched to media outlets prior to Commencement, as well as for promotional purposes. Please send the name(s) of the students and a short description about why you are recommending them.

Examples would be students who overcame obstacles to graduate, were involved in community service projects, participated in innovative research, started a new venture, took a class that changed their career direction, or did something really interesting. Basically, anything that would make a good story! We will follow up with the students and get permission to use their profiles. Send information by email to Director of Public Information Tracy Norlen at

Erickson Research Conference text
May 10: 17th Erickson Undergraduate Research Conference

The 17th Erickson Undergraduate Research Conference is Friday, May 10, starting at 3 p.m. in Otto Miller Hall. This annual event showcases research and design projects of 180 students, mentored by faculty in the CAS-Sciences Division (i.e., biology, chemistry, computer science, engineering, math, physics, and sociology). Oral presentations begin at 3:30 p.m., followed by a poster session from 5:15 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.  The keynote speaker is Jovonia Taylor, chief program engineer at The Boeing Company, and a graduate of SPU’s MBA program. Her talk, “Launching Your Leadership Legacy in STEM and How to Endure,” begins at 7:30 p.m. in Otto Miller 109. All are welcome!

May 7: FlipGrid video and community talk

Are you interested in finding new ways to create community and engage students in your classes? On Tuesday, May 7, 11 a.m.–12 p.m., Educational Technology & Media will host a special event with Max Hunter, assistant professor of biology, and Catalina Vlad Ortiz, instructor of nutrition, who will talk about how they have used FlipGrid — a simple video tool that can be integrated directly into Canvas — to introduce new ways of engagement and create community in their classes’ online spaces.

There will be time afterward to ask questions about the tool and see it in action. This event has been rescheduled from Winter Quarter. If you have additional questions or concerns, please ETM at or ETM Associate Director Karen Park at

Bike everywhere challenge logo
May is “Bike Everywhere Month”

The 2019 Bike Everywhere Challenge encourages team members to commute by bicycle during the month of May. Join an SPU Bike Everywhere Team today to participate, then visit one of the advertised bakeries to win big prizes. Here's how:

  • Select the blue “Register Here” button.
  • Join as a participating member of Seattle Pacific University.
  • Sign in or create a new account and follow the prompts.
  • Once logged in, navigate to “My Org” and select the team that you would like to join with SPU.
  • Start biking, win prizes, and get to know other SPU bike riders!

From the Wellness Initiative: Undergraduate mental health trends

As we wrap up the 2018–19 academic year, review the literature on current mental health trends for college students in the United States by checking out the Wellness blog.

Digital Equity
May 7: Panel on Digital Equity and Inclusion in Seattle

Seattle is known as a place of technological innovation, but many residents do not have access to the technology or skills needed to participate fully in our digital society. Come hear what the City of Seattle and other organizations are doing to close divides related to digital access and digital literacy in the panel discussion, Digital Equity and Inclusion in Seattle on Tuesday, May 7, 7 p.m., Upper Gwinn Commons. Panelists include:

  • David Keyes, digital equity program manager for the City of Seattle
  • Steven Maheshwary, chair of the Seattle Community Technology Advisory Board and board advisor for DemocracyLab
  • Minh-Duc Nguyen, executive director, Helping Link
  • Marcellus Turner, executive director and chief librarian, The Seattle Public Library
  • Stacey Wedlake, research coordinator and analyst, Technology and Social Change Group at the University of Washington Information School

The event, sponsored by SPU's Information Studies Program and Friends of the Seattle Pacific University Library, is free and wheelchair accessible.

School of Education
New from the School of Education

This is the time of year when the School of Education is abuzz with activities. Check out the latest SOE On Point e-newsletter here.

Tell Us What You Think text
Take the dining survey

A message from Campus Dining: Take this quick campus dining survey between May 1 and May 14 and enter to win $25, $50, or $100 in Falcon Funds!

10th of the month
Staff payroll and benefit changes due May 10

The 10th of each month is the last day to make changes to your upcoming payroll check. Do you need to add or remove your spouse and/or children from your health care plans? If so, contact Human Resources (HR) to complete the appropriate form. Changes might include events that are expected to impact your benefits and deductions, such as your spouse or children gaining or losing coverage due to employment, birth, marriage, etc. Additionally, any changes you wish to make to your 403(b) account contributions must be made by the 10th of the month. For changes to your 403(b) account, contact Transamerica Retirement Solutions at 1-888-676-5512 (5 a.m.–6 p.m. PST), or 1-800-755-5801. If you have any other benefits-related changes, call Mardeth Hughes in HR at 206-281-2816.

Loop arch
2019 summer housing for student employees

As you begin to hire students for summer employment, remember that on-campus summer housing is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Please advise your student employees to complete an application in the Housing Portal by Tuesday, May 7, if they hope to live on campus during the summer. If you have any questions, contact Housing and Meal Plan Services at 206-281-2188 or

SPU notecards with SPU Logo
Stationery orders due Tuesday, May 7

You have until 9:59 a.m. on Tuesday, May 7, to have stationery orders delivered Monday, May 20. Stationery orders are delivered once a month. Orders made after 10 a.m. on May 7 will be delivered June 17. For more information, contact Hope McPherson in University Communications at

Thursday deadline
Faculty/Staff Bulletin deadline

The Faculty/Staff Bulletin is published every week during the academic year. If you have information or event news, send it as soon as possible to Bulletin editor Tracy Norlen at Submissions may be edited for clarity. The next deadline is Thursday, May 9. The next Bulletin will be published Monday, May 13.

Faculty & Staff News

Alexander Hall
Tributes for three new emeriti faculty

From the Office of the Provost: Last, but not least, we honor these three wonderful faculty colleagues who will retire at the end of this academic year. We also want to recognize and thank David Rither, senior instructional designer in Educational Technology and Media, for all of his extraordinary effort in filming and producing these videos.

Please join us in celebrating:

Don MacDonald, professor of marriage and family therapy, for 42 years of service.

Gaile Moe, professor of family and consumer sciences and director of general education, for 25 years of service.

Rick Eigenbrood, professor of education, for his 18 years of service

Headshot of Professor Jaeil Lee
Lee co-authors article

Jaeil Lee, professor of apparel design and merchandising, recently co-authored the paper, “Co-authorship Practices, Motivations, and Ethical Applications in Clothing and Textiles Research.” The paper was published in Family & Consumer Sciences Research Journal, 47(3), 276–290. The authors investigated co-authorship practices, motivations, and ethical applications among clothing and textiles researchers.

Bo Lim, 2016
Lim's essay published

An essay by Bo Lim, associate professor of Old Testament, titled “Critical Methods and Critiques: Theological Interpretation,” was recently published in The T&T Clark Handbook to Asian American Biblical Hermeneutics, edited by Uriah Kim and Seung Ai Yang. (New York: T & T Clark, 2019.) 

Cheryl Portrait
Michaels speaks at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University

Cheryl Michaels, associate director in the Office of Safety and Security, was the guest speaker at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University's Whidbey Island campus on April 26. Her talk was “Civility and Workplace Environment.”

Peter Moe
Moe's article published

An article by Assistant Professor of Publishing Peter Moe titled "Speech Acts and the Problem of Who's on First" appeared in enculturation: a journal of rhetoric, writing, and culture. The piece uses J. L. Austin's speech act theory to think through how to describe a baseball play.

eugene lemcio
Lemcio publishes, presents, and teaches

A chapter by Eugene Lemcio, professor emeritus of New Testament, titled “Christology & Ethics –– Cosmic (Colossians) & Kenotic (Philippians): Practicing New Testament Theology in the Context of Canon & Church,” was published in Method in Teaching Inductive Bible Study — a Practitioner’s Handbook: a Festschrift in Honor of Robert A. Traina. (Fredrick J. Long and David R. Bauer, eds. Wilmore, KY: GlossaHouse, 2019. Pages 99–110.)

In April, Lemcio presented a paper at the Russia, East Europe, and Central Asian Studies Conference at the University of Washington titled “Questions About the Role of Ukraine’s Government in the Granting of Autocephaly to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine: Sources of Authority.” He also preached at both Good Friday services at his church, Ascension Episcopal in Magnolia.

SPU Arch
Welcome, Elle Gohr

The Office of Human Resources would like to welcome Elle Gohr, career counselor/program manager in the Center for Career and Calling.

This Month in the Garden

Grean Leaves
Adding groundcovers to the SPU landscape

From Master Gardener Jeff Daley: Groundcovers are low growing plants, usually no higher than 12 inches, that spread out along the ground. There are many benefits to including these plants in your garden — they guard against weeds and soil erosion (especially on slopes), and can help with moisture retention like a layer of mulch. They also attract pollinators like bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, and are great to use in place of a lawn because they don't drink up as much water during our dry season. Gardeners and homeowners can have confidence in the fire retardant properties of some groundcover plants, while at the same time insulating and protecting the ground from frost in the winter.

As an ornamental gardener focused primarily on aesthetics, I love to use a groundcover to help fill in the gaps in a garden, because areas of bare dirt can look sterile. Filling in these gaps creates a more natural flow of plant material in your landscape. The Japanese are masters of this gardening style, and this is one of the aspects of their landscape design that has influenced the way we garden here in the Pacific Northwest. Over the years, I have tried to introduce more groundcovers on campus, allowing us to cut down on labor and maintenance. 

Here is a list of some of the plants we have at SPU, as well as a few of my favorites I have at home. The shade lovers can take morning sun, but not the hot afternoon sun. Take a look and see if any of these are right for your garden! Select the link for pictures of groundcover around campus.

Convallaria majalis 'Variegata', Lily of the valley (shade)

Galium odoratum, Sweet Woodruff or Bedstraw (shade)

Vinca minor 'variegata', Variegated Vinca (shade)

Ajuga reptans, "Black Scallop" Carpet Bugle (shade)

Oxalis, Wood Sorrel or Shamrock (shade)

Smaller hosta varieties (planted closely together) (shade)

Saxifrages or rockfoil  (many assorted varieties) (sun)

Creeping Thyme (sun)

Sempervivum, "hens and chicks" (sun)

Creeping sedum varieties (sun)

Delosperma varieties, "Ice plant" (sun)


Volume #46 , Issue #18 | Published by: University Communications

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